“As we approach the Local Government Elections in May 2023 and the President’s National People’s Party (NPP) struggles to put seven (7) reliable candidates for mayors and chairmanships across the country, the Barrow administration now is calling for commissions of inquiry into the councils to distract the campaign,” the campaign manager said.
“This, in my view, is politically motivated as a result of the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of The Gambia that councils will not be dissolved three months before elections in accordance with the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia.”
The president, he added, wants to distract the councils into the election three months away on no basis but on the usual waste of taxpayers’ money.
Section 200 of the 1997 Constitution vested the power on him to call for a Commission of Inquiry on any matter whenever he deems it advisable, the GDC campaign manager said, adding that the president is trying to take advantage of the constitution which empowers him to inquire into the management of any department or authority of the public service, or any local government authority or public enterprise.
He said, according to the constitution, setting up an inquiry could be done on the opinion or discretion of the president, under the guise of the public good.
“All these sectors have oversight committees in the National Assembly of The Gambia with the mandate to request the President to establish a Commission of Inquiry for any of the purposes set out above according to the constitution,” he noted.
“Why do the Local Government Committees of the people’s representatives not call for an inquiry into the councils?,” he pondered, saying:
“There were more pressing issues that should warrant the president to call for Commission of Inquiry in the last 12 months; such as the loss of lives of 70 children; the mismanagement of D148 million Covid funds; the D2 billion Gam petroleum scandal; the D400 million GPA corruption, and the US$14 million airport renovations.
“There is also the most recent report of the National Audit Office that the Barrow government should recover over D164 million groundlessly paid to the Securiport.”
He added that other areas, sectors and departments that should have been placed under inquiry include the issue of councils’ misappropriation of public funds.
“My free advice to the president is that he must remember that only the truth prevails,” the GDC campaign manager advised.
He said Barrow is the president of The Gambia; “not the president of the NPP”, adding that he must fear Allah and respect Gambians.
“He should not forget that there was someone before him and there will be someone after him, and that nothing lasts forever,” he warns.